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I've written before about the power of certain herbs and spices in terms of antioxidant capacity and other health benefits.
The latest super-spice -- Chili!
I was just reading about an Australian study that documented how you can burn more calories, increase your metabolism slightly, and help control your blood sugar and insulin levels by including chili peppers and chili spice (or cayenne) in your foods.
Keep in mind, this may be a minor "detail", but when you add up a lot of these types of "details" you can make significant changes to your body over time.
As you've probably heard in the past, the active ingredient in chili pepper (capsaicin) can cause slight increases in your metabolic rate and calorie burning from a meal. This has been reported many times in both animal and human studies.
However, in this Australian study, Madeleine J. Ball, MD, one of the researchers from the study, sought to find out how chili pepper affected blood sugar and insulin response after a meal.
As you know, chronically high insulin levels in your body can not only cause deposition of excess body fat, but also can lead to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The study was split into groups of subjects that ate meals without chili spice, and other groups of subjects that ate meals with chili pepper.
As it turned out, the chili pepper eating groups had lower insulin levels and more stable blood sugar after the meals than the groups that ate the same food without chili. According to Dr. Ball, "the chili is probably having some effect on the ability of the body to clear -- or remove -- insulin from the bloodstream".
Aside from the temporary calorie burning boost and insulin controlling response, apparently chili pepper also has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties...
So if you can handle a bit of spicyness, go ahead and enjoy adding some extra cayenne or chili pepper to your pot of meat & bean chili, your morning eggs, meat dishes, and other meals, knowing it's possibly giving you a slight edge in the fat burning department.
One of my favorite meals that I've been eating a lot of lately is my home-made chili. I make big batches of it, and that leaves leftovers for quick and healthy meals whenever you need them.
If fact, I make my own extra healthy version of chili where I use grassfed ground beef or bison. I get all of my grassfed meats online at http://healthygrassfed.2ya.com
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Til next time...
Don't be lazy, be lean.
Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
This blog was brought to you by Mike Geary and Truth About Abs.